Kranji Marshes
Photo: Urban Redevelopment Authority

The guide to Kranji Marshes in Singapore

We strap on our hiking boots to explore the Kranji Marshes in Singapore's wild countryside

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Metal cranes are a dime a dozen in Singapore, but it’s always good to seek out some of their feathery counterparts out in the wild – and get a few deep breaths of fresh air while you’re at it. MacRitchie Reservoir and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve are (literally) evergreen favourites, and we can add one more to the green club – Kranji Marshes, which, at a sprawling 57 hectares, is our island’s largest freshwater farmland. It was cultivated since the ’70s when the Kranji reservoir was dammed, forming a wild diversity of terrains such as marshland, grassland and secondary forests. We wade through the green and suss out unique things you can do in this slice of paradise away from the city. 

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Kranji Marshes

Enjoy panoramic views of the Marshes

You’ve been to the top of Marina Bay Sands, ION Sky and Pinnacle@Duxton, but now it’s time to see the city from a very different vantage point: the Raptor Tower at Kranji Marshes. Designed to emulate a bird protecting its nest on a tree, the 10.65-metre-tall wooden structure offers a panoramic view of the surrounding marshes. Educational boards are placed around the open-air observatory deck of the tower, helping the eagle-eyed identify birds and pick out landmarks such as the Moorhen Pond and the BBC Shortwave relay station in the distance. From November to March, you can also catch raptor birds – otherwise known as birds of prey – that include migratory visiting species such as the Black Baza and Japanese Sparrowhawk.

Have a one-of-a-kind learning experience

The Kingfisher Burrow is another intriguing structure – it’s an arch that can be used as both an open-air classroom space and a vantage point. The structure is 100 per cent sustainable and includes recycled tree trunks for benches and the shelter. It’s the perfect setting to learn about the importance of nature and conservation. The National Parks Board is even considering the possibility of collaborating with schools to arrange lessons here. 

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Go into stealth mode to bird-watch

With the Marshes being home to 170 species of birds, four species of butterflies and 33 species of dragonflies, it’s easy to catch them all in action, especially in the early morning. Unlike neighbouring Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Marshes mainly comprises open and grassy marshland, which attracts different kinds of wildlife. Six bird hides and two blinds at the Marsh Station give you a chance to observe birds native to the habitat, such as the Common Moorhen and the Marshes’ signature bird, the Purple Swamphen. The hideouts – they have names like ‘Duck Hide’ and ‘Woodpecker Shelter’ – let visitors spy on wildlife up-close and personal.

Indulge your inner child with sticks and stones

With the birds chirping in the background and its rural vibe, Kranji Marshes is the perfect place to hark back to simpler times and indulge your inner child. That’s what the many man-made twig structures lying around the marshes are for. Think of all the fun possibilities: you can sit in a ‘nest’, or pose for an artistic shot with friends and family. You can also hop, skip and jump to your heart’s content across the Moorhen pond in the public area – it’s one to bring the whole brood to.

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Go on a guided tour to see more of the Marshes

If you're keen to see more of the marshlands, there is a whole separate area which is not open to the general public. Don't fret, you can get access to it by applying for a guided walk. The walk will cover the core conservation area and aims to educate visitors about the biodiversity in the marsh, woodland and grass habitats.

Take an epic shot of the floating boardwalk

If panoramic views and tranquil marshes aren’t enough, the floating boardwalk at the Reed Crossing just might be. Shutterbugs have noticed its resemblance to other photogenic jetties around the world, and snapping a shot down the boardwalk makes it look as though it extends to infinity. The platform is also a key pathway between the public area and the core conservation area – like the Turut Woods and the Parrot Hide – which can only be accessed through special guided walks.

Go beyond

  • Things to do
  • Lim Chu Kang

Not far from Kranji Marshes is Bollywood Veggies, one of the most beloved farms on the island. Known for its organic produce, this place has expanded over the years to include a culinary school and museum. Follow the trail around the farm where you'll see various fruit trees, vegetables, an irrigation pond, and plenty of banana trees. Get your strength back at the bistro after. They serve up hearty nasi lemak platters, refreshing teas and delicious kuehs, put together with fertiliser- and pesticide-free ingredients harvested from their charming backyard. 

  • Things to do
  • Lim Chu Kang

Hop on the Kranji Express shuttle bus to get to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, an ASEAN Heritage Park that is full of indigenous species of plants, birds and insects. Explore the nature trails and try to spot mudskippers, monkeys, climbing crabs – and maybe even crocs! – on and near the mangrove boardwalks. This place is a haven for birds, so do camp out at observation hides (and maybe bring along some binoculars) to catch some beautiful avians in their natural habitat. 

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  • Things to do
  • Lim Chu Kang

Another stop along the Kranji Express's route is Hay Dairies, home to about 800 goats of mixed breeds. Whatever you feel about goat's milk, this is the place to get the best of it – that's because these animals are fed hay shipped straight from the US, as well as special feed flown in from Australia. Talk about pampered. Drop by in the morning to catch the goats being milked (from 9 to 11am), then bring a few bottles home at the end of the day.

  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
  • Tengah
Kranji Reservoir Park
Kranji Reservoir Park

 Kranji Reservoir Park is the perfect place to relax in the shade of trees and enjoy a packed lunch. There are benches lining the water and wide-open fields for you to do so. Those who love to fish can head to designated zones; otherwise, the history buffs can go on a hunt for a memorial plaque that pays tribute to the brave soldiers who lost their lives in the Battle of Kranji during World War II. If you're dedicated enough, rise early to catch sight of the gorgeous sunrise – we heard the best spot for viewing is somewhere near the Kranji Dam. 

Visit the Kranji Marshes

  • Things to do
  • Lim Chu Kang
Home to 170 species of birds, 54 types of buttferflies and 33 different kinds of dragonflies, this nature reserve is the perfect recreation area to observe and enjoy the island's wildlife. At 57 hectares and with a range of natural and green habitats, Kranji Marshes is Singapore's largest freshwater farmland.

Love the outdoors? Check this out

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